At 98 years old, World War II veteran Charles Everett takes every challenge thrown his way head on.
As an Air Force fighter pilot, Charles’ plane was shot down in Germany. He was captured and taken prisoner. For an entire week, he was forced to march continually with little food or water.
“This experience taught me that I can overcome any obstacle life threw my way,” said Everett.
Three years ago, his kidneys failed and he needed dialysis to stay alive. Everett began receiving treatment at our center in Berlin, New Jersey, three times a week. He quickly realized he wanted more flexibility and wished to live a more independent lifestyle while it was still possible.
Everett decided to take to the internet and research additional options that would cater to his independence. Once he came across home dialysis, he went to his care team to see if it could work for him. After discussing the process, they agreed that it would be the best option and began training him on the equipment.
Now, Everett administers his own treatments at home every night by connecting himself to a dialysis machine that does the work of his failed kidneys while he sleeps. He no longer drives, so home dialysis eliminates the challenge of finding transportation to and from the clinic three times a week.
“As part of Charles’ care team, we’re available should he need us 24/7. Through our onboarding training, he has gained the capability and confidence to administer his treatments himself,” said Judy Rudderow, Home Therapy Program Manager in Runnemede, New Jersey. “He’s a true example to patients that dialysis can fit into their life – not the other way around.”
The flexibility of home dialysis also allows Everett to spend more time with his family.
“My dad is an inspiration,” said his daughter Beth, who visits him a few times per week. “He taught me that there’s always a solution to every problem, and it’s my job to find it.”
This Memorial Day, Charles has much to celebrate – his life, his family and his ability to live independently and actively take control of his health. We honor him for his past service and for his continued inspiration to those around him.